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Suddenly heavy site traffic: attack, or bug?

5 posts in this topic

Having visited MSFN regularly since the forum upgrade, I've been keeping an eye on the number of visitors reported at the bottom of the main forum page. I first remember seeing anywhere from 700 to 1600 visitors including guests. But within the past day that number has grown to a staggering 36000, and causing considerable lag times when loading pages.

The larger visitor count seems to have taken a toll on the logged in member count as well. I'm used to seeing 30 to 60 members online at a time consistently. Now its more like 10 to 20.

Could this be an attempt at a Distributed Denial of Service attack?

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Having visited MSFN regularly since the forum upgrade, I've been keeping an eye on the number of visitors reported at the bottom of the main forum page. I first remember seeing anywhere from 700 to 1600 visitors including guests. But within the past day that number has grown to a staggering 36000, and causing considerable lag times when loading pages.

The larger visitor count seems to have taken a toll on the logged in member count as well. I'm used to seeing 30 to 60 members online at a time consistently. Now its more like 10 to 20.

Could this be an attempt at a Distributed Denial of Service attack?

The slowness *may* be related to Usher's post, however that has nothing to do with member counts. Also, DDoS attacks are focused on the actual servers and network links themselves. Additional connections to the server would not register as Guests. A Guest is generated (to the best of my knowledge) when the server generates a session for that person. The newer versions of IPB can also detect spiders and other bots that identify themselves when they visit the site, so this large number could also be those types of "users" aka bots. You will also notice that the member numbers are over 30 minutes, not the exact time you loaded the page. You can also tell the actual amount of "real" traffic here by looking way at the bottom of the main index. As of this moment it says 7 queries, which is related to requests to the database for information. Since everything is kept there, every time you click on a link it will do a query. Since this number is so low (as of this moment there are 7000+ in last 30mins and 26 registered users) you can tell that many people are not posting or moving about the forum, and that no one is trying to slow it down by doing so.

However, it may be possible that the board may also register a guest if someone has hot-linked a file or picture on another site. I do not know enough about how the engine works to know if that is true or not.

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Broken links are fixed as of yesterday, well 99%.

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